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Editor's Commentary on "Dance"

 , May 14, 2019

Quiet moments in the hospital are rare, but when they do appear we realize how much we need them. Busy checklist days, numerous tasks vying for our attention, codes and alarms—then, silence. For a brief breath or two, it all stops and we take in our surroundings. “Dance” describes the still moment when we’re left with our own thoughts, the stillness to open ourselves to the unspoken narrative in the room. That moment before walking into a patient’s room to tell them a terminal diagnosis. Or in the operating room, gloved hands lifted above someone’s sacred space inside. In “Dance,” the writer sits behind a glass window reflecting on an patient encounter that has unanswered questions, unspoken stories. The patient is swaying to a rhythm that only they can hear, questionable drugs found in the belongings, being placed in the psychiatric emergency room. In the quiet, the medical details of the patient fade into the background, and the personal story emerges. "Dance" is a reminder to take a step back and reflect on the patient's narrative.

Esther Lee